A Monument for Len Johnson in Manchester
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Clayton born Len Johnson (22 October 1902 – 28 September 1974) is a Mancunian legend with a Sierra Leonian dad and a mum of Irish ancestry.
Not only was he a prize boxer who was on course for the world title was it not for British boxing’s colour bar, Len was mixed race when British boxing only allowed white champions. But Len was a fighter out of the ring too, championing trade unionism, civil rights and advocating throughout his life not just for his Moss Side community but for oppressed people world wide.
Len founded the New International Society to provide a voice for people of colour in Manchester, in 1945 he was invited to attend the groundbreaking PanAfrican Congress and in 1948 following the framing of 6 African-Americans known as the Trenton Six he sprung to action organising a rally and concert at Belle Vue featuring the famous singer and activist gathering more than 10,000 people in attendance.
Manchester has monuments to Presidents, Prime Ministers, slave profiteers, royalty and even soft drinks but as of 2020 nothing to acknowledge the contribution of Black Mancunians, I can’t think of a better man to honour than our Len to start to rectify that.
Len Johnson he fought for us!
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